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Curating a Mom Uniform

Parenting

I recently found myself wrangling three children in a busy parking lot on a windy Oklahoma day. I’m sure I looked perfectly composed…hair blowing in my face, begging my two boys to hold hands and avoid vehicular manslaughter as my daughter yanked on my necklace from the ergo. Add a diaper bag, loose papers, and each of my boys carrying their “crafts” from the day’s activities, and we were a stereotypical disaster waiting to happen.

Imagine my surprise to hear, “I am always so impressed when moms of young kids are able to look cute.”

I turned to see what could have been myself four years ago: new mom, baby in a Moby, yoga pants and ponytail, lamenting the days of outfits past. How she used to fix her hair every day and wear wedges. She attempted to convince me she used to be someone else, not the woman standing there, dark circles under her eyes.

So, to the moms struggling to figure out how to get put together in the morning: You’ll get there.

Surprisingly, it is in having more children that I have figured out how I navigate this. With each child, I’ve realized more clearly what I can and cannot do, what I can and cannot wear, and the necessary time needed.

Call it curating a uniform for my mommy job. Steve Jobs wore the same thing daily to save his brain from one more decision. I’ve come to see the value in this. Because we all know, as moms, we are making decisions for lots of people all day every day.

I know my body. I know I don’t feel comfortable in tops that are fitted and that, no matter how in vogue they are, I will not wear them. So, I’ve stopped buying them.

I’ve learned that it’s no more time to slip on a pair of jeans than yoga pants. But this means always keeping a pair of jeans that fit me. And I feel better about myself and more put-together when I am wearing jeans.

Also, let’s thank the powers that be for making top knots and messy braids fashionable. This has bought me a lot of extra days avoiding shampoo.

So, google “capsule wardrobe” or hang on to those yoga pants if that’s your jam. But let’s eliminate unnecessary limitations. Don’t tell yourself you’ll look cute again once your kids are older. I look back at pictures after having my first child and wish I could go back and tell myself that you don’t lose yourself once you become a mom. You merely get to add another job title to your resume, which often involves a uniform change.

Kara Garis is a cloth diapering, baby wearing, semi-crunchy mama to two active boys and a baby girl. She lives with her husband in Oklahoma and loves running, cooking, traveling, reading and teaching herself how to braid. She blogs very infrequently at karagaris.blogspot.com.


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